Basically, Feedbands has created a subscription vinyl platform with a twist. Members vote on their favorite music online (via streaming), and the top-ranked artists get a first-run vinyl pressing from Feedbands.
Those members, in turn, get treated to a crowd-selected vinyl release every month. Power users know what’s coming, others get surprised. It’s basically a crowdsourced record label that revolves around vinyl.
The result is a nice, growing community, and a nice bump for artists that feel drowned on other platforms. “There’s a lot of noise on the internet, so it’s hard for artists to rise above that and get noticed,” Langdon told us. “Labels are pushing a lot.”
Actually, members can choose from several different plans. You can even opt to receive a vinyl record and t-shirt every month as part of your plan. It’s all automatically mailed to you (though you can also swap stuff if you don’t like the selections).
On the artist side, the deal is pretty solid. Once selected for vinyl release, artists are paid in cash and their own pressings. Two valuable things to an artist, especially since vinyl can be turned into cash on the road (or, online or via a local store).
Importantly, the vinyl is a first run, so Feedbands gets to debut the release. But the artist doesn’t relinquish any copyright control. There’s nothing binding beyond the initial pressing itself, and artists can leave whenever they want.
Langdon told Digital Music News that he decided upon Dash while heavily researching cryptocurrencies. The crypto is governed by a decentralized org structure, which helps to manage decisions about the underlying blockchain and coin distributions.
Langdon liked Dash because it transacts quickly and has razor-thin processing costs — unlike the extreme mining fees that have bogged down mainline Bitcoin. The result is the 99.99% payout to artists.
Even better, the Dash governing body also funds innovative ideas likely to broaden adoption and use of the altcoin. Accordingly, Langdon proposed a Dash-powered, unofficial SXSW showcase, and it all went swimmingly well. At the showcase, everything was powered by Dash, including vinyl, beer, and wine sales. Even tipping was conducted in the crypto.
The result was that a large group of lesser-known bands could make it down to SXSW, and get in front of new audiences. “We flew out 25 bands, and paid for their airfare,” Langdon explained. “A lot were playing gigs and wouldn’t be able to get out there — already this is proving its value in the musical community.”
Eleanor Friedberger’s fourth album Rebound is the first of her solo records to feel completely removed from the singular aesthetic of The Fiery Furnaces. The esoteric humor, the odd approach to narrative, the strange cadences and restless tempos, the impulse to pack songs with as many ideas as possible – that’s all gone. The Eleanor of 2018 favors a more relaxed vibe and significantly more straightforward lyrics. The songs have a more spacious, airy sound, and her voice – always so certain and decisive in tone – now conveys the humble curiosity of a spiritual seeker.
This is a dramatic creative shift, and I know some of my friends who were never huge Furnaces fans have connected with this record. And that makes sense: Anything that could have ever annoyed people about her old material is missing from what she’s doing now, and it’s pretty easy to like the mellow, groovy vibe of this record. But for me, it’s a bit more complicated. I appreciate and enjoy where she’s at with this music, but I can’t help but focus on the lack of the aspects of her work that I find the most exciting and intriguing.
She’s still great with melody. “Make Me A Song” is a gentle, jaunty number with an understated hook – “I could love you more” – that’s sweet but slightly ambiguous in context. This is essentially a song reflecting on other people’s faith and passions, and searching for a similar inspiration. And though she seems to lack direction, the music itself conveys a sense of peace and self-acceptance that suggest she doesn’t have to look far to find what she might already have.